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April 11, 2024

GOP Candidates Race For Second Place

The fourth republican debate was held in in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

This past week, News Nation hosted the fourth republican primary debate, with four candidates in attendance- previous U.N ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. This debate served as a last chance for runners to solidify their standings before the upcoming primary voting in Iowa and New Hampshire caucuses.

   With the presidential election approaching quickly, candidates are keen to establish their ideal image to voters. As former President Donald Trump continues to dominate the polls for reelection, his republican opponents have to work overtime to keep up. Despite Trump’s indisputable lead, the remaining GOP candidates are still making valiant efforts to attract the attention of voters. 

   The debate spanned two hours, once again brimming with incessant personal disputes between candidates. Here is a rundown of some of the more memorable exchanges:

   Ramaswamy, who is well-known for his outlandish remarks, stuck with his signature confrontational approach. He spent most of his opening statement accusing Haley of corruption within her campaign for her support from Wall Street donors. He turned heads again with his claims that he was the “only candidate” on stage who would dispute the January 6th insurrection and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in 9/11, calling the riots an “inside job” as well as calling out the U.S government for lying to the American people about Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the attacks. 

  Although DeSantis remains the top non-Trump nominee, there’s no denying that his campaign has taken a hit, with his national numbers dropping from 30% to near single digits. And as Haley became his most formidable non-Trump opponent, he took a more offensive approach in an effort to propel his numbers. When asked if Trump was fit to be president he predictably avoided the question, however he did advocate for having a younger leader in power. “The idea that we’re going to put someone up that’s almost 80 and there’s going to be no effects from that – we all know that’s not true. And so we have an opportunity to do a next generation of leaders,” DeSantis stated.

   As Nikki Haley surges in polls, money, endorsements, and public approval, she poses a rapidly growing threat to her adversaries. Haley received criticism left and right from her opponents throughout the night- a clear result of her continuous advance in the polls and rise in popularity. Desantis and Ramaswamey attempted to shut her down, but Haley stood her ground. In response to some of the allegations, Haley quipped, “I love the attention, fellas, thank you.”

   Chris Christie flew under the radar for the most part, with the least approximate speaking time, as he maintains the lowest rank in national polls out of the four. Christie is the only candidate who has repeatedly acknowledged the elephant in the room- Trump. He called out the former president himself,  “He is unfit to be president. There is no bigger issue in this race.” He also criticized his running mates for shying away from the topic, “We have these three acting as if the race is between the four of us,” Christie said. 

  According to polling data, the audience favored Haley and DeSantis and responded poorly to Christie and Ramaswammey’s performance. Among the topics moderators brought up, were the Israel-Hamas war, gender affirming care for minors, border security, Trump’s competence for office, but not abortion- an increasingly divisive issue within our country’s political climate.

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About the Contributor
Alison Walker
Alison Walker, Editor
Alison Walker is a sophomore at UHS and this is her second year on the staff and her first year as an editor at The Torch. In her free time, she enjoys reading, going to the beach, watching Gilmore girls, and hanging out with Cricket. 
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